Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:04 am Post subject: Repaired my guages today with how to diy
there was no instructions on the forums so i figured since i wished i had some id post some for the do it your selfer. make sure to read all the way through b4 attempting . this is how i did it and im not responsible for any damage u may do to your cluster. its recommended to use a static wrist strap to prevent any static from screwing up ur computer chip thingy, but i didnt use one.
since ive bought my car the speedometer and temp guage have quit working and i put it off for the last few months and just drove without but didnt like the idea of that but didnt have 500$ dealer wanted nor did i wanna go clusterless and mail out my cluster so i was able to find some updated stepper motors here
for very cheap. my speedo and temp guages were bad, but i purchased 3 motors to swap them all out to the updated version. dont wanna lose my fuel guage later on. they would take a few days to get here so i decided to start gathering the tools n supplies i would need to do the work. i never done soldering before, and didnt really know what i was doing so i looked on youtube and found videos of how to solder and desolder using solder gun and braid. this is the most inexpensive method.
8$ 30 watt solder gun from radio shack
3$ desolder braid
6$ rosin core solder
20$ for three x25 168 stepper motors (3 because i use a base cluster)
and maybe an hour of labor. this includes removal from dash, repair, and reinstall.
here is a link to impalahq directions to dissasemble the dash. instructions are for getting to your radio but its the same idea to get to the cluster
once u have the dash removed remove the 2 top bolts and 2 lower bolts holding the cluster on, unhook the harness and pull out the cluster and bring it to your soldering area where u will disasemble the cluster.
here is a link to bbengineer's instructions on how to properly dissasemble the cluster. his instructions are for led mod, but same idea.
its recommended to have a full tank of gas to get the correct reading. in my case im broke atm and i dont have enuff to fill my tank so i just went off where it was, my speedo and temp guages guages were pointing straight down. in order to get the proper starting point for the needle, you must rotate needles counterclockwise untill they stop. if they wont move without forcing them then they are zerod out. the stopping points should be relativly close to 0 on the guages. mark the overlay with a piece of tape to remind you where to put your needles when u reassemble the cluster.
grab a fork and pop the needles off and then dissasemble rest of cluster making sure to carefully disconnect the little harness thats connected to the computer chip thingy. now ur ready to get the defective motors out. get to know the computer chip thingy. flip it around and mark the solder joints that the motors are solderd to that you will be repairing. heres a pic of the motors ur replacing
i used a permanant marker and put a dot next to them so i didnt get the wrong ones. i warmed up my soldering iron and put some solder on the tip of the gun to keep it from oxidizing and i then grabbed my solder braid and started my desoldering.
once all of the motors removed install the new motors soldering their joints carefully. if you dont know how to solder either you can find a video on youtube simply by typing in how to solder. same with the desoldering process. once the new motors are soldered in, you can put most of the cluster back together (dont forget the little wiring harness on the computer chip thingy) but leave the front cover off for calibration. put the needles on in the 12 o clock position (straight up) and rotate them counterclockwise to your tape marks. go out to car and plug in the cluster and turn the car on.... you may have to tweak the guages a little bit. if so turn the car off and pull needle straight off again and put it back on to where it should have been pointing. then turn car on again and see where it is. repeating if nessecary. only took me a couple times. once u got it all right, pull off the tape from the overlay and pop the front cover back on and screw everything back in and put ur dash back together and u just saved a arm and a leg and 2 toes.
Last edited by labriola on Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:19 pm; edited 3 times in total
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